Wasps: The Literal Worst

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Wasps are the worst thing about the end of summer, yet it turns out that they might just actually be my new favourite animal.
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Created by Dylan Dubeau and Andrew Strapp
Host: Danielle Dufault
Edited by: Jim Pitts
Research by: Andres Salazar
Special thanks to Helen McCammond, Professor Libersat & the Ben-Gurion University in Israel.
Examining the nature of the beast.
This episode of animal logic is . sponsored by curiosity stream wasps are . the worst thing about the end of summer . and it turns out they might just be my . new favorite animal hi i'm danielle . defoe and you're watching animal logic . first things first wasp taxonomy is . weird wasps are very closely related to . ants bees and saw flies as you may have . guessed from their appearance and . fastidious nature in fact some wasps are . more closely related to bees than they . are to other species of wasp the general . definition for a wasp is any insect in . the hymenoptera order and a pock rinna . suborder that is not a bee or ant there . are a lot of different species of wasp . over a hundred thousand since the group . is so large many species exhibit . dramatically different behavior for . example some wasps like the bane of . everyone's summer the yellowjacket are . you social this means that they live in . colonies raised young that aren't their . own and have specific jobs similar to . ants and many bees yet many other . species of wasps are solitary and only . ever interact with other wasps when . mating the species that do build nests. build them out of wood pulp mixed with . saliva and the insides of their nest is . often velvety to the touch it's not just . differing behavior though often you . wouldn't know a wasp was a wasp just by . looking at it wasps come in a large . variety of shapes sizes colors and the . only thing that the entire group has in . common is their thin waist their bodies . range in size from the giant 7 . centimeters long - the tiny 0. 1 . millimeters long wasps have been around. annoying people for a really long time . 150 million years to be specific however . the first wasps to appear that resembled . modern wasps were around 60 million. years ago as far as interactions with . humans go it's safe to say that they've . been around ruining barbecues for as . long as we've been around having them in . fact possibly the earliest reference to . wasps and human. literature comes from the greek comedy . from 422 bc titled the wasp their name . coming from a chorus of alders featured . in the play similar to their much more . popular relatives the bees wasps do . pollinate they're just not very good at . it you see these are covered in fuzz and . when they land on a flower the pollen . easily sticks to their bodies on the . other hand most wasps are slick and the . pollen just doesn't take hold nearly as . well. wasps primarily eat nectar and as the . season winds down their hunting time. grows shorter they grow hungrier angrier . and more desperate . in fact some might say they begin to . terrorize which is why they're such . assholes in the late summer and early . autumn they fall prey primarily to small . birds and me with the newspaper though . some species like the giant japanese . hornet do fall prey to the larger . predators like the honey buzzard which . are relatives of the hawk now despite . the reputation for being the literal . worst there is something worse than a . wasp their larvae wasp larvae are the . biggest jerks in the animal kingdom you . heard it here first folks first of all . many of them are parasitoid meaning that . they are deposited and raised in a host. body that's a nice way of saying some . wasps lay eggs in their prey . watch out peter then the larvae will eat . the host from the inside out . though some larvae won't devour the host . from the inside and instead will just. eat all of the food that the host . consumes other species of wasp will lay . their eggs and egg clusters from other . species and their larvae will eat the. competing eggs so that's nice though . it's the aptly named emerald jewel wasp . who takes the cake for most horrific and . craziest reproductive cycle this wasp. will find the cockroach about four times. its size sting it to take it out of . commission and then it will sting a ted . with surgical precision disabling the . part of the roaches brain that controls. dopamine open . the stops the output basically taking . away all free will of movements in the . cockroach turning it into a zombie roach . which is a phrase i hoped i'd never have . to say after this struggle to recoup . some lost energy the wasp will rip off . one of the roaches then 10a for a little . roach blood pick me up . they will then lead their new zombie pet . to a tunnel where they'll lay their eggs . on the zombie roach and then blockades . said tunnel the eggs will hatch and the . larvae will burrow into the still living . still zombified cockroach and feed on . its insides a few weeks later a fully . developed emerald jewel wasp will burst . out of the roach carcass like a freaking . xenomorph and go on to repeat the cycle . so yeah fun times some wasp species like . the police deus salsa fer our brood . parasites meaning that they'll lay their . eggs in the nests of other wasps who . will mistakenly raise them as their own . not all species of wasps are parasitoid . and instead can be solitary after mating . the female will build a nest for the . larvae sometimes leaving the carcass of. another insect in the nest for the . larvae to feed on this is called mass . provisioning as opposed to progressive . provisioning which is when the mom has . to constantly bring food for the larvae . since adult wasps only ever really eat . nectar if you see a wasp catch another . insect it's to feed their babies some . wasps larvae even control the adults . hornet adults can't digest solid food so . they will gather solid food to bring to . their larvae which can eat solids the . larvae will digest the food and produce . a nutrient-rich liquid that the adults . can eat possibly the most interesting . wasp is the panda ant you heard me . despite what their name might have you . believe panda ants or velvet ants are a . family of wasps that resemble ants and . the females are wingless they come in a . variety of bright colors though it's the . black and white ones that give them. their name they may look cute but don't . let that distract you. these girls pack a mean punch they've . been nicknamed cow killers and their . sting has been rated a 3 out of 4 on the . schmidt . index for insect bites since they are . not you social and are solitary panda . answer classified as wasps instead of . ants i told you whilst taxonomy is weird . but next up we have the marvelously . named tarantula hawk these gorgeous . wasps have a sting that rates a four to . four on the schmidt pain index and they . are one of only three animals to achieve . this rating renting second only to the . bullet ant schmidt describes the sting . as blinding fierce and shockingly. electric it's supposed to paralyze your. body for five minutes . so yeah crazy bite but that's not the . best part . they were named tarantula hawks for a . reason they're huge measuring five . centimetres long and they killed . tarantulas but not an irregular boring . let's kill this thing for food type of . way nope . tarantula hawks are much more clever . than that similar to the emerald jewel . wasp it will sting the tarantula to . permanently paralyzed it and then they. will lay their eggs inside the . still-living tarantula the larvae will . then hatch and eat their way out of the . tarantula who lives just long enough to . bear witness to this entire horrifying . experience but they aren't the only big . wasp out there meet the giant japanese . hornet a wasp that has truly earned its . name they measure over four centimetres . long and have a wingspan of over six . centimeters these wasps are you social . and live in colonies with thousands of . other giant japanese hornets that is a . literal nightmare these wasps are super. helpful and super harmful often farmers . love them because they control crop pest. populations but a purists on the other . hand hate them because they can decimate . a honeybee colony in a couple of hours . european honeybees are especially. vulnerable as they have no evolutionary. defenses against these behemoths four . times their size about 30 giant japanese . hornets can kill about 30,000 european . honeybees. just under three hours they attack . picking off the puny honeybees one by . one slaughtering their population and . ignoring the fallen carcasses of the . honeybees as that's not what they're . there to eat when the honeybee defenses . have fallen the hornets will enter the. colony feast on the larvae and bring . their flesh back to feed their queen . it's pretty brutal japanese honeybees . fare a bit better than their european . cousins as they've had the benefit of . evolving alongside the hornets while the . japanese honeybees are still no match in . size for the hornets they do have one . strategy and it's pretty smart they will . lure a single hornet into the heart of . their colony and right when it's about . to go to town on their larvae the . honeybees will pounce hundreds of them . will pile on top of the hornet vibrating. and creating a convection oven to cook. the hornet alive honeybees can tolerate. a slightly higher temperature threshold . than the hornets and when their pile . reaches 47 degrees celsius the hornet is . done for if you ever run into a giant . japanese hornet i suggest you get out of . there when they sting they inject large . amounts of venom and that venom is so . powerful it can dissolve human skin and . finally the warrior wasps these you. social wasps look like they're made of . obsidian and along with the bullet ant . and tarantula hawk are the only insects . in the world to rate a four on the . schmidt pain index he described the pain . as torture you're chained to the flow of . an active volcano why did i start this . list warrior wasps as their name . suggests are very aggressive and attack . in large groups not only that but when . they feel threatened they can beat their . wings against their bodies to make a . sound similar to that of marching . soldiers. as annoying as wasps can be they play an. incredibly valuable role in the . ecosystem wasps are apex predators . responsible for keeping arthropod. populations in check. arthropods including spiders mites and . other insects are the largest phylum in . the world. and without wasps to regulate their . populations the world would be overrun . with a plague of pests this struggle . between predator and prey is as . interesting as anything you'd see on the . plains of the serengeti just on a macro . scale even better this amazing clash . between insects is something that you . can see right at home in your backyard . to see it all at an even closer angle i . highly recommend that you go and watch . big world in a small garden which is . featured on curiosity stream who. sponsored this episode the documentary . is a beautiful macro look at the world. of insects found in your backyard by . acclaimed nature photographer martin. dorn you're able to get a completely . different perspective of the world from . the one we live in daily you get to see . a world that is 50 times larger than the. one we're used to it's a really . beautiful and amazing documentary that i . really think you'll love curiosity . stream is a subscription streaming. service that offers over 1,700 . documentaries and nonfiction titles from. some of the world's best filmmakers . including exclusive originals their . nature documentaries are my favorite and. they've inspired me a lot when making . animal logic it's a really cool service . that i hope that you guys will love as . much as i do if you want to watch big . world in a small garden and hundreds of . other documentaries go to curiosity. stream comm slash animal logic and claim . your 30-day free trial with the promo . code animal logic what animal should i . check out next please let me know in the . comments and be sure to subscribe for . new episodes of animal logic every other . week thanks for watching . [music]. wasps i have a hard time making my mouth . make those shapes for some reason wasp. was once inator terrorize move . .

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